A Review of Common Eyelid Conditions for the Primary Care Physician

Shannath L. Merbs

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This article describes 5 common eyelid conditions that often present to primary care physicians and may warrant surgical treatment. A patient who presents with one of these conditions can be readily identified by his or her physician and should be advised to seek evaluation with an oculoplastic surgeon if the condition is debilitating. Surgical correction is typically covered by medical insurance if the condition is symptomatic or threatens vision. Physicians should be able to recognize these frequently encountered eyelid problems and to help alleviate the associated symptoms while patients await referral and surgical correction. Blepharoptosis (drooping of the upper eyelid) is usually corrected by shortening the tendon of the levator muscle that raises the eyelid. Alternatively, if levator muscle function is poor, the eyelid can be attached to the frontalis muscle with fascia lata or another material, allowing the patient to elevate the eyelid by raising the eyebrow. Blepharoplasty surgery for dermatochalasis (excess upper eyelid skin) can relieve symptoms, such as decreased peripheral vision and brow ache. Entropion (the turning inward of the lower eyelid) is treated by tightening the lower eyelid and reattaching the lower eyelid retractors. Ectropion (the turning out of the lower eyelid) can be secondary to aging or can result from scarring of the skin of the lower eyelid or cheek. Ectropion is also treated by tightening the lower eyelid-with the possible addition of a skin graft. Trichiasis (the acquired misdirection of eyelashes toward the eye) is often treatable with several rounds of electrolysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)563-570
Number of pages8
JournalAdvanced Studies in Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'A Review of Common Eyelid Conditions for the Primary Care Physician'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this